The English Channel is the body of water that separates the island of Great Britain from northern France, and the Atlantic Ocean from the North Sea. In French it is called La Manche ("the sleeve"). It is about 350 miles long and at its widest is 240 km (150 miles). The narrowest point is only 34 km (21 miles) at Dover to Cape Gris-Nez.
The first person to swim the channel was Matthew Webb in 1875.